Hold Your Event on Rose Island!
Planning a private party, wedding or corporate event in Newport? If you are, why not consider Rose Island Lighthouse for your venue? Spectacular unmatched views, privacy and a warm friendly staff make this destination a very appealing choice.
Newport Life magazine voted Rose Island a “hidden gem” in Newport. Rose Island sits at the mouth of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, situated in the center of historic Newport Harbor. It is a perfect place to hold a special event with stunning views of Newport and sunsets while providing privacy and intimacy wanted for your event.
Celebrate your wedding, birthday, anniversary, or any special moment you want to celebrate with friends and family. It is also a perfect place to hold your next corporate event by holding a client function, team building, organizational retreat, or employee appreciation event.
For a moment in time, you can have your very own island with a lighthouse.
For additional information, please read fully below and if your questions have not been answered, please email us at email@example.com
To inquire about availability and to book your event, please fill out the event inquiry form:
In addition to the Event FAQs listed on this page, we also encourage you to read our general island and overnight guest FAQs here.
Who manages Rose Island?
The Rose Island Lighthouse & Fort Hamilton Trust (RILFHT) manages the island. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is: To preserve the historic and environmental integrity of Rose Island, to maintain and operate its Lighthouse and to provide education and public access for all people.
The lighthouse structure and historic Fort Hamilton on Rose Island (including our Barracks building) are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
RILFHT has responsibility for managing and operating the 1.5 acre Rose Island Light Station property, which is owned by the City of Newport, as well as the remaining 17 acres that RILFHT purchased in 1999, including portions of Fort Hamilton and the entire Wildlife Refuge.
Can I book overnight rooms as part of my special event booking?
We open for reservations annually in November for the April – October season of the following year. Groups planning special events can always reach out to our team earlier than that to rent rooms associated with your private event, and we recommend planning your event as far in advance as possible so that overnight accommodations are available to you.
Events of over 60 people scheduled into evening hours after 4:00pm are required to rent the two overnight accommodations located in the lighthouse, along with the Foghorn building and the Barracks room. If those accommodations are already booked when you request your event, our reservations specialist will advise you on what options are available.
Who can stay overnight on the island?
The only people allowed on the island after your event end-time and beyond the conclusion of our event breakdown are those who are registered to stay overnight on the island. A list of all overnight guests must be provided to RILFHT staff using the “General Assumption Agreement” and emailed at least 2 weeks prior to event date to firstname.lastname@example.org
What spaces can we occupy on the island?
Guests will confine themselves to the specific areas specified in their event agreement and are not to wander around the property grounds. Generally, private events take place on the grassy area at the bottom of the lighthouse hill between the rainwater cistern and our gift shop. The beach adjacent to the dock and the firepit may also be used. If you have rented the lighthouse overnight, you may also have portions of your event on top of the hill by the lighthouse (or inside the lighthouse for smaller events).
**Notably, much of the island is an important protected nesting ground for birds and it is not permitted per RI Department of Environmental Management rules to wander into this area between April 1 and August 15 each calendar year!
Is it possible that inclement weather could cause our event to be canceled?
Yes. Rose Island sits in the middle of the Narragansett Bay, and In some circumstances, high winds or inclement weather make boat landing unsafe at the Rose Island docks. In those cases, RILFHT reserves the right to cancel your event and a full refund will be provided within 7 days. These are unforeseen circumstances that cannot be avoided and are often not known until the day of an event. Inherently, an event on the island carries the risk of cancellation due to this circumstance. In general, when winds reach a speed of 25 mph or greater and the National Weather Service issues a small craft advisory for the area around Rose Island, it is deemed unsafe to land watercraft at Rose Island.
Can we have our event indoors?
The historic Fort Hamilton Barracks does have indoor space for small private events of up to 30 people. If you would like to reserve the Barracks room, please speak with our reservations specialist. Very small events may also be held in the lighthouse itself, if pre arranged with RILFHT.
Do you provide an event specialist or planner as part of a special event rental?
No, we do not. Rose Island is available for your private event, and a staff person of the RILFHT will always be on island during your event, but we are not event planners. We recommend hiring an event planner for larger events, as well as vendors who are aware of the conditions on Rose Island.
Do you have tables, chairs, and tents for rent on the island?
We do have chairs and tables for rent for your event. Our tables and chairs are available on the island and can be set up by RILFHT staff, if pre-arranged and paid for. Additional seating and tables may be brought in and set up by vendors contracted by your event and coordinated by your event planner.
We do not provide tents, but we strongly recommend a tent with sides put up for your event. Tents must be set up and managed by external providers/vendors and not RILFHT staff.
What external service providers / vendors can I use on the island?
You are welcome to use any private vendors for your event services, as long as you have them review and sign our Event Services Provider Form and regulations and send that to us at least 30 days prior to your event.
How can my guests and vendors get to and from the island?
Transportation of your guests and vendors to Rose Island is not included in the rental rate. This may be arranged privately through the following ferry services:
Jamestown Newport Ferry 401-423-9900
Oldport Marine 401-847-9109
In some cases, Rose–the 18 passenger boat owned by RILFHT–may be able to be included in your transportation plans, such as for shuttling vendors to and from the island or for special moments, like bringing the soon-to-be newlyweds to the island for a special arrival. Use of the boat Rose is available for a daily rental rate of $1,500, or on a per round trip basis. Please speak with the RILFHT reservation specialist for more on this.
Site Rental Fees. Please fill out our event inquiry form and we will be happy to share pricing with you. Special pricing is available for non-profit organization events and corporate retreats for RI-based companies.
Alcohol Beverage/Bar Service. Serving of alcoholic beverages must conform to the State of Rhode Island laws and Newport regulations. Alcoholic beverages must be served by a licensed bartending service company carrying a $1 Million Dollar Liquor Liability Insurance Policy, listing RILFHT as Insured. If the hired service is supplying the alcohol, they must also carry a Class P License with the state of RI. Alcohol is permitted within the footprint of the island grounds only.
Is insurance required?
For private events , a General Liability Insurance Policy with coverage up to $1,000,000 listing Rose Island Lighthouse & Fort Hamilton Trust as an additional insured is also required and must be submitted to RILFHT at least 1 month prior to the event start.
What deposit is required to book my event?
A $1000 deposit (or 50% of your event fee, whichever is less) is required to secure the date of your event. This deposit is nonrefundable in the event of cancellation as outlined below or it will be applied to the final bill providing the event takes place as contracted.
What do we do with our trash and recycling?
Rose Island is a small, sustainable island. All guests and visitors on Rose Island must follow a strict carry-in, carry-out policy. For private events, you must coordinate with your event planner and vendors to take all generated waste with you off the island. If trash and other materials are left on the island, we reserve the right to charge the hosting party a removal fee of up to $200.
What is the bathroom situation?
All of the plumbing on Rose Island is fed by rainwater collected in our rain barrels and cisterns. Private events generally have availability to our two outhouse bathrooms. Special instructions inside let guests know how to operate the toilets to conserve water and wash and sanitize hands. If a private event has rented the two apartments in the lighthouse, the indoor bathrooms will also be available to guests.
Is there electricity available?
All lights in the lighthouse and appliances are powered by solar electricity generated from panels on our island. We also host a backup generator. For their event electricity needs, extension cords can be run from the shed down to the event area.
Is there drinking water?
There is no clean drinking water piped to Rose Island from the mainland, and the water used in our plumbing is not suitable for drinking (although it is perfectly fine and sanitary for hand-washing in our bathrooms!) For our overnight guests, clean drinking water in large jugs is available in each room. Private events are responsible for bringing drinking water for their guests, and this should be coordinated by the hosting party, their event planner, or private vendors. We discourage the use of single-use water bottles because of the material it generates. All trash and recycling must be removed from the island by the Hosting Party or their vendors on the day of the event (unless otherwise arranged), per our carry-in, carry-out policy and event rules.
Event Set Up / Break Down. Rental fees include an additional two hours prior to the start of the event for decorations and/or pictures and one hour afterward to remove items brought in by the hosting party. Rose Island reserves the right to restrict decorations that may cause damage to the premises. Music, entertainment and bar service must be suspended 30 minutes prior to the contracted termination of the event and/or no later than the sunset time set for the event day. This allows for guests to depart via the ferry service in a regular manner. Hosting party is responsible for the prompt departure of their guests. All equipment, rentals, decorations, trash/recycling and all other property belonging to the Hosting party, their service providers and/or their guests must be removed from the island within one hour following the event shutdown, unless otherwise agreed upon with RILFHT staff.